T-Mobile CEO rips into Verizon's 5G network

The carrier says its 5G network is bigger than those of Verizon and AT&T combined.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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T-Mobile says its 5G network is bigger than those of Verizon and AT&T combined.

Angela Lang/CNET

T-Mobile has launched yet another ad campaign blasting Verizon's 5G network coverage, telling the rival carrier that the "truth hurts." T-Mobile said Wednesday that customers can only connect to Verizon's 5G network 0.4% of the time because it's only live in certain parts of some cities.

"Odds are you can't get Verizon 5G, but look at the bright side -- you can play connect-the-dots on their 'coverage' map," T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert tweeted.

T-Mobile said meanwhile, it's building out 5G across the US and using multiple spectrum bands to do so. "It's paying off for our customers who now have access to a 5G network that's bigger than AT&T and Verizon combined," T-Mobile said.

Verizon has launched its 5G network in 35 cities across the US -- but it's only available in certain parts of those cities. T-Mobile says its 5G network reaches almost 250 million people. Last month, AT&T said its 5G network covers 205 million people.

You can check out T-Mobile's 5G coverage maps hereAT&T's 5G maps here and Verizon's 5G coverage map here.

Read more: Verizon vs. AT&T vs. T-Mobile compared: How to pick the best 5G carrier for you

The three carriers are using different radio waves for their 5G networks: Verizon uses high-band millimeter-wave 5G spectrum, which is limited to traveling short distances and being blocked by solid obstacles like buildings and trees, while AT&T uses 850MHz spectrum for its low-band 5G network. AT&T will also be employing a new technology called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing to share its 4G airwaves with 5G and improve performance this summer.

T-Mobile also uses low-band 600MHz spectrum -- which has better range but slower speeds -- but is now also integrating Sprint's midband 2.5GHz spectrum since the carrier's $26.5 billion merger with Sprint went through in April.

This isn't T-Mobile's first anti-Verizon 5G ad campaign; in February, it started calling its rival carrier "Verwhyzon" and asking why Verizon's 5G is only available in limited areas. This came after its VerHideZon ad campaign last year, which ripped into Verizon's lack of transparency over where its 5G networks were live. T-Mobile called its previously campaign successful, crediting it with Verizon finally publishing 5G availability maps in November 2019.

Verizon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

From Apple to Samsung: 5G phones available right now

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